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Friday, 01 May 2009

From time immemorial, chocolatiers of Belgium have been recognized as the producers of the world's finest chocolate and Belgian chocolates have consistently won the hearts of the critics as well as the chocolaphile.

Now, the attention of the vast international network of chocolate-lovers appears to have shifted westwardly to a country that is more noted for its cuisine, coffee and fashion. Yes, now Italia has been acclaimed for its chocolate and has been crowned "the Chocolate Capital of the World"

Following in the style of its prized caffe, the Italian treatment of this legendary favorite is thicker, creamier and more darkly decadent than it's EU cousin. Interestingly, when prepared as a hot beverage, it is virtually a pudding or mousse. Moreover, in Spain, where much of the hot cocoa served there is from Italy, the Spaniards take it a step further and add cornstarch to make the hot drink even more densely viscous and needs to be spooned rather than sipped.

But it is in the form of the truffle and other various chocolate candies that the Italian flair for creating a Piece de Resistance is readily apparent and can be tasted as well as viewed and admired.

In 2005 at Caffe D'Amore Incorporated, the company presented a lusciously rich beverage they called Bellagio Sipping Chocolate. It would be one of the first American versions of the Northern Italian approach to chocolate beverages and was dedicated to family grandmother, Madelena Cavanna, proprietress of Italy's Ristorante Varese, located in the Lake region of Bellagio.

Madelena had introduced the first Caffe D'Amore ( Coffee of Love) in 1895 when she added dark chocolate and two liqueurs to her house specialty coffee. The Caffe D'Amore Bellagio Sipping Chocolate was awarded winner of the Best New Product Award at the 2005 Specialty Coffee Association of America show in Seattle. This chocolate, along with the company's newest BELLAGIO BARISTA LINE has become a delightful chocolate companion to specialty coffee beverages served by hotels and prestigious white table cloth customers of the company.

From Italy - where chocolate and coffee is AN AFFAIR OF LOVE.

Research done by interview with formulators at Caffe D'Amore and information gathered on trips to Italy

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